In his first nine months as the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis succeeded in changing the conversation about the role of the church at a time when its reputation was still smarting from sexual abuse and corruption scandals and declining attendance.
The whistleblower captured attention around the world and vindicated conspiracy theorists who had long suspected their communications were being monitored. The 29-year-old computer analyst, who had been a contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency, released a torrent of top-secret material documenting extensive government surveillance targeting the phone and internet communications of U.S. citizens and foreigners.
Glenn Greenwald :
The Guardian journalist, along with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, was the person Edward Snowden chose to handle the release of the NSA documents and became the other public face of the story.
The junior senator from Texas who helped bring the U.S. government to a halt for two and a half weeks in October was a relative unknown before he launched into a 21-hour rant on the Senate floor that highlighted the Republican effort to defund President Barack Obama’s health-care reform.
Born on July 22, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had been talked about pretty much from the day the couple got married in 2011, when speculation started about when a baby might appear.
Egypt’s first democratically elected president since the popular overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 lasted a mere 12 months before he was ousted from power in July by the same military that forced Mubarak out.
The hero of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement and the country’s first black president was honoured around the world after his death in November at the age of 95.
One of two Chechen brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured more than 250, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev grabbed the world’s attention during the citywide manhunt for the two brothers following the April 15 bombing.
A Puerto Rican-born former school bus driver who was described by his Cleveland neighbours as a regular guy was exposed as a sadistic, violent abuser and sexual predator, when one of three women being held captive by him broke free on May 6 and called 911.
Trayvon Martin, a black unarmed teenager, was shot to death by Zimmerman while walking through a gated community in Florida neighbourhood in 2012, but it was in 2013 that the verdict finding Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder sparked outrage across the U.S.
The South African sprinter was the first double amputee to take part in the Olympics and was dubbed the “blade runner” for the carbon-fibre prosthetic feet he wore in races.
The Russian president made few friends in 2013, angering the West with his continued support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the imprisonment of Greenpeace activists and his refusal to revoke a ban on homosexual “propaganda” ahead of the Sochi Olympics.
In Italy in the past decades, rarely a year has gone by without Berlusconi making news, but 2013 might go down as the year that the former Italian president finally disappeared from the headlines.
As the Syrian civil war stretched past its second year, President Bashar al-Assad showed no sign of loosening his grip on the country.
Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education, poses for pictures before an event launching her memoir, I Am Malala, in London in October.
Worlds Top Newsmakers 2009
Barack Obama :
US President Mr. Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, 2009.
He is the third sitting US President to be awarded the Prize.
Hu Jintao :
- Under Mr. Hu Jintao’s leadership, China has emerged as a force to reckon with his political and economic policies have made China the fastest growing economy, with forex reserves of $2.27 trillion, as well as a potent political force that can dictate terms even to the US.
Angela Merkel :
Ms. Angela Merkel was re – elected as the German President for a second term onSeptember 27, 2009.
Dmitry Medvedev :
Ever since Mr. Dmitry Medvedev took over as Russia’s President, he has played a crucial role in helping Russia tackle the global financial crisis.
- Under his leadership, Russia has succeeded in strengthening its ties with emerging powers like India and China.
Sheikh Hasina :
Ms. Sheikh Hasina of Awami League was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on January 6, 2009.
- She became the nation’s 12th Prime Minister.
Herman Von Rompuy :
Mr. Herman Von Rompuy, the Prime Minister of Belgium, was elected as the first President of the European Union on November 9, 2009.
Madhav Kumar Nepal :
Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Nepal on May 25, 2009.
- He succeeded Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad :
Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re – elected as the Iranian President on June 13, 2009.
- He secured a landslide victory in the elections.
Yukiya Amano :
Mr. Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat, was elected as the Director – General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on July 3, 2009.
He succeeds Mr. Mohamed ElBaradei. He is the 5th DG of world’s nuclear watchdog.
Stefania Fernandez :
Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela was crowned Miss Universe 2009 on August 23, 2009at the Miss Universe Pageant held in Nassau, Bahamas.
She is the fifth Venezuelan beauty to have won the Miss Universe title.
Irina Bokova :
- Ms. Irina Bokova 1 was elected on September 22, 2009 as the head of the Unesco.
- She is the world’s first woman to hold this prestigious post. She is a former Foreign Minister of Bulgaria.
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan :
India – born scientist Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, alongwith two other scientists, for his studies on ribosome.
He is currently based in the US.
Yukio Hatoyama :
Mr. Yukio Hatoyama was sworn in as Japan’s Prime Minister on September 16, 2009.
Earlier, he led the Democratic Party of Japan to a landslide victory in the general elections in August, 2009.
Susilo B. Yudhoyono :
Mr. Susilo B.Yudhoyono began on October 20, 2009 his second 5 Year term as Indonesia’s first directly elected President.
He secured a landslide victory in the presidential elections.
Hamid Karzai :
Mr. Hamid Karzai was declared the winner in Afghanistan Presidential polls onNovember 2, 2009.
- He was sworn in as the President of the nation on November 19, 2009.